The Beginners Guide for Mobile Design & Optimisation

Estimated Reading Time 7 minutes

Did you know there are now 3.1 mobile devices per household in 2014? Google told me this statistic at a recent Google Partners conference; I actually find this hard to believe considering between me and my flatmate we have 3 each! However, this single statistic in itself emphasises the importance, of having a mobile ready website and optimised search.

If you’re not on mobile, then my question is, are you mad? I work in online marketing and yet my home desktop hasn’t been turned on for weeks and why? Because I have a lighter and fully functioning tablet, where I can conveniently lie in bed, sit on the sofa or even take to my local coffee shop to browse a dress for the weekend, with my skinny hazelnut latte in hand. Why would I open up my desktop?

Marin Software recently released a case study predicting that mobile will account for 50% of all traffic on paid search. This isn’t surprising considering mobile search offers so much more than a desktop, where you can gain localised search and store telephone numbers down to a less cluttered design. Google stats highlight that 57% of people will not recommend a poorly functioning mobile site, and that 40% of people will turn to a competitor if your sites a struggle to use. That’s a heck of a lot of traffic and sales you could be missing.

We all know there is a real importance to be on mobile and also an equivalent demand from the consumer Let’s go through some of the top-line strategies to remember when having a mobile site and optimising search for mobile.

Mobile Design

Rule of thumb

When designing your mobile responsive site, make sure you accommodate for the ‘rule of thumb’. This basically means make all call to actions thumb reachable and big enough for all size thumbs. There is simply no point putting your number one call to action in the top left hand corner where no one can reach, especially with the new iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy.

Size bottom to top

If you haven’t started your design process yet, then stop what you’re doing, put the pen down. Start with the mobile design first. It’s a lot easier to start small and scale up rather than start with a large desktop version. I’m also guessing your designers are working on a large 27inch monitors? Imagine then having to scale down and squeeze everything into a smaller screen, doesn’t seem like the easiest of tasks.

Call to actions

Most sites have one clear goal from selling a product, buying goods or even signing up to the database. However, this clear goal is followed by many call to actions. That’s fine on the big screen but for mobile they need to be refined. The mobile strategy needs 1 goal and 1 call to action, 2 at a push. People searching on a mobile aren’t going to be there for long if you have messy, complicated, overcrowded call to actions.


Mobile Search

Ad Position

With mobile, as we know, the screen size is smaller leaving little space for advertising and organic search. Especially with shopping in play and suppressing these search results further, the only real space you have to advertise is position 1 or 2. Simple strategy if you’re not in position 1 or 2, you’re simply not showing, bid up.

Lost to Rank Report

This works hand in hand with ad position, however it’s a handy report to tell you how much you really are losing. When you’re in the campaigns tab you need to add a segment- device. On top of this you need to add some columns of ‘Search Lost IS’ (Rank). This report will tell you the percentage you are missing out to due to rank being too low. Smaller the number the better.

Rank report PS

Ad Text

As call to actions vary slightly between mobile and desktop, you need to be clever with your mobile AdCopy. Consider factors such as locations, shop opening times, phone numbers to call, and foot traffic deals. You must accommodate your mobile message to people browsing on the go, rather than desktop browsers at home.

Above is just a selection of hints and tips for your mobile strategy, but there is so much more out there! Search on the go is only going to get bigger and if you’re not ready your will lose out and have to come back fighting, attached with a hefty cost no doubt. Get ready, get optimised.

Jenny Farnfield
Jenny Farnfield graduated from Southampton Solent University with a 2:1 Degree in Advertising, and brings extensive commercial, digital and marketing acumen to the team at Digital Clarity. Jenny has been recognised by both UK Search Awards and the Ecommerce Awards. Jenny is also IDM certified, and utilises a rigorous, granular approach to digital marketing. With over 6 years’ experience, Jenny digs deep to find solutions and uses an immersive approach in her accounts, turning numbers and data into actionable solutions for her clients.